sill insulation question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-03-2019, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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sill insulation question

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Dow-STYROFO...-ft-L/50071519


How should this be attached? When i build the frame for the walls of the new room, i was going to put some of this under the bottom pt 2x4 plate. But im not sure the best ways to attach it. I dont have a hot glue gun or anything like that. Screws seem wasteful. Would i just use the same staples im using to staple normal faced insulation to the wall studs?
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-03-2019, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgang953 View Post
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Dow-STYROFO...-ft-L/50071519


How should this be attached? When i build the frame for the walls of the new room, i was going to put some of this under the bottom pt 2x4 plate. But im not sure the best ways to attach it. I dont have a hot glue gun or anything like that. Screws seem wasteful. Would i just use the same staples im using to staple normal faced insulation to the wall studs?
I don't know if I would use that. The stuff would be like working Styrofoam packing. You could use staples to install it but you would have a great deal of trouble getting the window sill in with something spongy under it. If you are trying to block off air I would be more inclined to use self adhering window flashing. It would be more like using a wide piece of duct tape.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-03-2019, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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its not for a window. Its for underneath the bottom plate of the frame that sits on the concrete floor. Since there is the potential for small trickling of water (there shouldnt be any, but until i can take care of the issue in its entirety, i will assume it could one day be possible) im using pt 2x4 as the bottom plate on the ground. It was recommended to me to use the sill insulation underneath that bottom 2x4 as well.
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-03-2019, 05:00 PM
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I would not put anything under that. If there is ANY potential for water then that issue must be addressed and SOLVED. How are you fastening that "frame" to the floor/foundation?


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post #5 of 17 Old 02-03-2019, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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The steps that iv been able to take to stop the water should be enough to keep the frame area dry. I have not seen water in that small area in many months. But i can not 100% guarantee that some small trickling wont show up some day.



Solving the problem in its entirety is NOT an option at this moment. Iv done what i feasibly can and it should (hopefully) continue working for now. - That being said, i must get this room built now so i can move my pets down there (special temp and humidity needs animals) so i can clean and rent out the bedroom they are currently in. Otherwise i will not be able to pay my mortgage much longer. (Disability sucks.) So for now i am doing what i have to, within the means that i have available.- Also worth noting, the potential water area is less then half a square foot big when it was at its worst.


As for fasting the frame to the floor, right now i havnt planned on doing that at all. If i need to in the end tho, i will. Two of the frame walls are 28-29 inches in from the cinder block walls of the basement (until i can perminitly solve the water issue). After which id like to move them back and do everything more properly. But again, doing what i can for the moment so i dont lose the house.


With that in mind, and using the concrete basement floor as the rooms floor (no additional floor) it was suggested i use the sill insulation underneath the bottom plate
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Dow-STYROFO...-ft-L/50071519
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-03-2019, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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A google search image. Just to illustrate; under the bottom plate. Not a window.

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post #7 of 17 Old 02-03-2019, 09:13 PM
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Some serious concerns...!!!

Hello Wolfgang,

I will validate that I make a living designing and building contemporary homes based on tradtional vernacular systems of architecture for the most part, as well as historical restoration work of the original forms.

As such, your plans seem to be in the contemporary modality of "stick building" and not something I do (but understand) fully. The reason I don't build this way, is its industrial nature, and it is also based on "minimal standards" and not "best practices" in architecture. Modern building systems are not meant to last the centuries (or even millenia) that traditional homes had been expected to last in many of there examples.

With that validation out of the way, take what you will of my words, and discard the rest. Ask more if you would like to explore a different (more durable?) path...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgang953 View Post
...The steps that iv been able to take to stop the water should be enough to keep the frame area dry. I have not seen water in that small area in many months. But i can not 100% guarantee that some small trickling wont show up some day...
If not 100% sure...then you still have a serious issue that can lead to not only structural degradation over time (out of site!!) but also a very strong and likely opportunity for interstitial moisture (and mold) issues within the wall void.

"plastic" (aka foam) thermal breaks and related ubiquitous "damp proof courses" are nothing but a psychological placebo in most applications. They are often actually a moisture trap in most examples that lead to sill plates rotting even when pressure treated lumber is used, as they do not work as often intended, nor do the last as long as most "think" they will.

I would also warn, that blue foam (what you are showing) is perfect nesting medium for a variety of ant species, and this alone is a good reason not to every employ them in critical architecture elements like foundation sills

At minimum, when stuck with such a foundation element for a project that I have to deal with, that "moisture shield" would be a strip of copper flashing...or...slate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgang953 View Post
...Solving the problem in its entirety is NOT an option at this moment. Iv done what i feasibly can and it should (hopefully) continue working for now. - That being said, i must get this room built now so i can move my pets down there (special temp and humidity needs animals) so i can clean and rent out the bedroom they are currently in. Otherwise i will not be able to pay my mortgage much longer. (Disability sucks.) So for now i am doing what i have to, within the means that i have available.- Also worth noting, the potential water area is less then half a square foot big when it was at its worst...
Use copper...or building felt (60#) minimum...not plastic...or do nothing. Psychological solutions are not tangible ones and not worth the effort only to "feel good" about doing something...

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Originally Posted by wolfgang953 View Post
...As for fasting the frame to the floor, right now i havnt planned on doing that at all. If i need to in the end tho, i will. Two of the frame walls are 28-29 inches in from the cinder block walls of the basement (until i can perminitly solve the water issue). After which id like to move them back and do everything more properly. But again, doing what i can for the moment so i dont lose the house.
If these walls are temporary...not structural...(they can't be...???...if not fastened down) then you don't need to put plastic foam down at all. It is going to do little to no good anyway that you couldn't do with just some felt paper...

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...With that in mind, and using the concrete basement floor as the rooms floor (no additional floor) it was suggested i use the sill insulation underneath the bottom plate
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Dow-STYROFO...-ft-L/50071519
That's someone trying to "sell you something" and not necessarily sound advise...
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-03-2019, 10:07 PM
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Good grief.


I think that stuff is basically held in place by the weight of the structure sitting on top of it.
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-03-2019, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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This is why i ended up with a bunch of different threads on this site. Trying to take certain things one item at a time. Half the time each one ende dup in a discussion of everything as a whole but in a side tracked type of way, if that makes any sense.



If you want to understand the project im looking at as a whole go to this thread. I posted two videos there outlining everything i was thinking about, along with what the place was like when i first moved in and some work that had already been done. And explanations of why im looking to do things a certain way.
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/f...1/#post2028417
The first video was kinda long. So i tried making a second video that was a bit faster.


FYI; at this point i have the 2x4 and 2x6 lumber in my basement as well as the drywall i could afford and a door/door frame. Unfortunately tho, i had some family issues and my remaining budget is now at $0.
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-04-2019, 02:37 AM
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I guess I'll weigh in here...

That foam is designed to be a moisture barrier between your bottom plate and the concrete in case the concrete has condensation so that it doesn't wick into the plate over time. The main reason it is foam and not plastic or metal is to fill in the gaps that sometimes result from the crappy and uneven dimensional lumber that we have to work with in the construction industry.

Consult your local building codes because it is required in some areas to have a moisture barrier in place. It's not the best way but just a way to solve the issue of moisture and air infiltration between the concrete and bottom plate. I usually fasten them with GRK Caliburn screws every 2-3 feet...however it works out to space the screws evenly. PAF or bolts poured into the concrete are alternative fastening methods as well.

Edit: A lot of building codes are stupid and unnecessary. Most houses are designed to last about 50 years before failure occurs but a lot of that is because "experts" and politicians who write the law obviously know more than the tradesman who have worked in the industry their whole lives. The new fad is air infiltration...sealing every single gap in the house until it becomes like a vacuum chamber. Now they've found that it causes problems like...homeowners getting sick because they use all the oxygen in the house and since the house cant breath, neither can the humans inside. I could rant at length of all the stuff I have to do on a customer's house...a lot of times we are making the situation worse in the long run. I know it but I need that inspector to sign off so I am forced to do it anyway.
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Last edited by Echo415; 02-04-2019 at 02:46 AM.
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post #11 of 17 Old 02-04-2019, 06:09 AM
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Entirely different "new room" than I was thinking. Apparently this is not a new expansion of your house, but something you are doing in your basement. It would have been good to know that at the beginning.


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post #12 of 17 Old 02-04-2019, 07:26 AM
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When I installed a wood frame window. Used generous silicone gel to bed the frame all round, never a problem.
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post #13 of 17 Old 02-04-2019, 07:27 AM
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it is typically stapled to the bottom of the PT sill plate, prior to installation. I drill the holes for the anchor bolts, do a test fit, then staple it on. I leave about a 6" flag on the end so it can go under the next run or the corner. nothing else is needed...
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post #14 of 17 Old 02-04-2019, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
was going to put some of this under the bottom pt 2x4 plate.
Quote:
Would i just use the same staples im using to staple normal faced insulation to the wall studs?
That would work, just stapling to the bottom before standing it up.

But for a basement where you have seen water before, I would not rely solely on that. And all it would do really is prevent moisture from reaching the bottom soleplate. It's not really thick enough to prevent any kind of water that might trickle across the floor.

I'm currently building a room in my basement as well, and mine does get wet. A lot. I've already had to throw away some things since moving in last year. I don't get inches of standing water, but the floor gets wet enough to make puddles. What my house really needs is new drainage tiles and about $20k in work. Not really an option for me. I'm building my own style of draining system to not keep the water out (because every attempt has failed with typical consumer products) but to channel it and redirect it to sump and keep it off the floors. And I'm about to find out this week if my method will work.

But in regards to your issue, when I built the walls I didn't place any wood on the ground. I bought a box of these plastic blocks so my wall sits an inch off the ground. So any water that comes leak in won't get soaked up into the lumber. Then used tapcons to secure the base to the basement floor.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/USP-4-in-x-...e-Base/3367966


When I do the floor, I'll use something like dri-core, only more cost effective. I'd like to do carpet as long as I can keep moisture in the air under control. My dehumidifier works fine, but it's costly to run all the time.
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post #15 of 17 Old 02-04-2019, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Entirely different "new room" than I was thinking. Apparently this is not a new expansion of your house, but something you are doing in your basement. It would have been good to know that at the beginning.
George

sorry. Guess iv had so many questions on here that it slipped my mind this time.






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What my house really needs is new drainage tiles and about $20k in work. Not really an option for me. I'm building my own style of draining system to not keep the water out (because every attempt has failed with typical consumer products) but to channel it and redirect it to sump and keep it off the floors. And I'm about to find out this week if my method will work.
I know the feeling. To begin to solve my water issue, it would involve digging up the perimeter all the way around the house to find any cracks or holes that developed and patch them all up. Then seal the whole thing. Then back filing and grading and what not. I havnt priced it yet... but im guessing its not cheap. - So its not jsut an option right now.


There is only one very small spot where this room will be tho that has seen water on the floor. Its not all over. Only one square foot or less worth. And with a couple cheap ways, it hasnt happened in many months.


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But in regards to your issue, when I built the walls I didn't place any wood on the ground. I bought a box of these plastic blocks so my wall sits an inch off the ground. So any water that comes leak in won't get soaked up into the lumber. Then used tapcons to secure the base to the basement floor.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/USP-4-in-x-...e-Base/3367966
oh god.. those plastic things...

at my last place, when the shed was torn down (either that or it was going to fall down son enough) they had those plastic things as a base. Inch or two thick and like 10-15 feet long. Those things were incredibly heavy.
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post #16 of 17 Old 02-05-2019, 08:46 AM
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I started putting up a shed this past fall (didn't get a chance to paint it before winter). I used 7" tall deck blocks. The back of my yard floods, sometimes up to a few inches, so simply using pressure treated lumber on the ground wasn't going to cut it. But I've never seen anything as long as what you're describing. For the basement walls, it's not bearing any load so I only used the 2" blocks every 2-3 feet. Also allows any water the travel under the wall and not get blocked up. Basement slopes to a floor drain, which just added extra work building the walls as every stud was a different height.

When I finally get around to finishing the room, I plan to use PVC trim as just an added precaution. In hindsight though, I wish I used green board though I don't know how much of a difference it'd really make.
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post #17 of 17 Old 02-23-2019, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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(topic is closed, i just finally got around to being able to reply to this statement)



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But I've never seen anything as long as what you're describing.



I was over there the other day and took a picture of them. - Who ever built that shed before i moved in there used these at the base. They were incredibly heavy and hard to move.





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